• Fern Lee

Discover your ikigai

Ikigai means 'reason for being' in Japanese. You can do all the right things but if you don't have 'ikigai', you might still be missing something in your life.

Okinawa in Japan has more centenarians than anywhere in the world. They attribute their longevity to discovering their ikigai - their reason for being.

What is your reason for being?

As we try and figure out what it is that we want to do with our lives, it's sometimes hard to pin things down.

There are 'experts' who tell us that we should do what we love to do or are passionate about, and not worry about finances or how much it pays.

I don't completely agree.

I believe that how much we are paid is important if it is important to you.

One of my ikigai is providing for my family, and friends, people who depend on me financially and that could mean earning a good wage. I cannot discount the fact that money plays a pretty significant part of my purpose in life.

However, I believe that if we have the choice, we should take money into account (if money is something important to you), AND balance it out with how much you enjoy the work, where your gifts lie and what you excel in.

Taking into account passion, enjoyment and financial reward altogether into figuring out a balanced, fulfilling career.

I have often discounted my need for money and it has made me feel unsafe and crippled in my thought processes around what it is that I want to do.

Only when I finally admitted that money played a part in my choices did it finally feel comfortable to me. I also realize that I couldn't only let money dictate my choices. I had to enjoy my work and hopefully will eventually be good at it!

Choosing what you want to do isn't easy. Finding your ikigai will help.

My advice is to spend some time, journaling, dreaming and contemplating what it is that you want to do. Take some time for yourself; schedule in your downtime so that you don't have any meetings or any other interruptions.

Just allow your imagination to flow.

If you have that inner voice (like I do!) telling you that your instincts and ideas are rubbish or it gives you all the reasons for NOT doing what it is that you want to do, then know that you are not alone.

My inner voice tells me that if I go back to private practice I would be earning a ton of money and that is the practical thing to do! But I wouldn't enjoy it. Or have any work-life balance. I wouldn't see my son and my husband as much as I do now.

Don't feel bad about.

What you do need to do is tell that voice to take a hike and chilax! Send that inner critic of yours away and allow that inner creative you to come out and play.

And that's just it. It's just playing and having fun.

Who knows what you might discover? There is no harm in allowing that to happen.

In fact, you might benefit from it!

Blessings in this holiday season,





©2019 by Fern Lee Career Coaching